First Advisor

Kathryn Wuschke

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Homeless camps -- Oregon -- Portland, Crime analysis, Homeless persons -- Crimes against -- Oregon -- Portland -- Statistics, Spatial analysis (Statistics)



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 65 pages)


Those experiencing homelessness face several challenges in contemporary society including a higher risk of victimization compared to the general population. In order to offer effective intervention to protect members of this population, understanding the spatial relationship between homeless camps and crime is imperative. To provide the foundation for a future risk assessment used to identify camps with a higher risk of nearby victimization, this study assessed crime concentration in relation to reported homeless camps in Portland, Oregon. Utilizing two publicly available data sources, this study conducted spatial analyses on voluntarily reported homeless camp data from October through December 2019 and reported crime data from 2019. To assess the potential risk of victimization across reported homeless encampments, crime concentration was measured within one-block of camp locations. Results indicated that crime was 2.9 times more concentrated within this area, as compared to the city. Further analyses indicated that all three categories, person, property, and society crime, were also concentrated near these camp locations. Taking a closer look at individual camps, spatial analyses were conducted to identify the camps at highest risk of victimization within each category. These high-risk camps had substantially higher concentrations of crime in proximity as compared to other camps, and to the city as a whole. At the base level, these findings suggest that risk of victimization should be considered as a factor when assessing the overall risks associated with areas near homeless encampments. Further, the City of Portland can utilize these research strategies to help prioritize communities for resource assistance, and other cities can adapt this model accordingly to best support the needs of members of this marginalized population.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Criminology Commons